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Research Article Open Access
Background: Workforce redesign is needed in general practice to recognise the health and social needs of an ageing population with complex co-morbidities. Developing new roles for existing receptionists is presented as one way to support clinicians in administration of complex care, reducing unplanned hospital admissions for housebound patients.
Aim: To implement a patient liaison officer role in primary care through development of receptionist skills to support housebound patients in the community
Design: A longitudinal retrospective cohort study, following 64 housebound patient over 2 years, before and after introducing a patent liaison officer. Setting: South London general practice with 7200 registered patients
Method: Audit of unplanned hospital admissions; Accident and Emergency (A&E) and Urgent Care Centre (UCC) attendance by house bound cohort, 12 months before and after introduction of a patient liaison officer, using computerised clinical records and hospital discharge reports to identify contacts
Results: Unplanned hospital admissions reduced by 50%, without concurrent increase in separate A&E and UCC attendance.
Conclusion: Early indicators suggest a non-clinical liaison role within general practice, improving communication and care-coordination between patients, carers and external agencies, can support housebound patients resulting in reduced unplanned hospital admissions and potentially reduced health inequality.
Patient liaison, general practice, care coordination, Advanced concepts in primary care, Quality in Primary Care, Comprehensive primary care, Innovative primary care